Last Saturday night Doug and I had a very exciting evening.  Our daughters were at a party so we did the grocery shopping, picked up some food to cook when we got home, and then watched a movie on pay-per-view.  Yeah I know, you’re thinking that sounds boring as hell.  Truth is, it may not have been all that exciting, but it was relaxing for us, and it was a time to spend alone together.

This kind of evening was very typical before Doug’s emotional affair (except we were rarely alone), but since D-day we both have made an effort to make our weekends more “exciting” and different.  But honestly this kind of evening felt very comfortable and safe to me.

As we were unloading the groceries in our usual systematic and cooperative way, I began thinking about what it meant to be “roommates” and whether that was really such a bad thing.

When couples have been together as long as we have you develop routines that make your busy lives less stressful. Do these routines really ruin marriages? Does everything in our lives have to be new and exciting?  Haven’t we earned this kind of security and comfort?  Isn’t that one reason why we got married to our spouses in the first place?

Since the emotional affair I have really missed the old days when I felt secure enough to put on my bleach-stained sweats, snuggle up on the couch and fall asleep by nine o’clock.  In many ways I miss the boring couple that we used to be.

I realize that we have tried too hard to be teenagers again and that we are too old to stay up to all hours of the night.  After all, we do have responsibilities we need to tend to and life can’t always be fun and games.  Oh, and not to mention that hangovers are no fun and they seem to last longer than they used to.

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At the same time, I have also learned that we can get too comfortable in a situation and continuing this boring pattern for a period of time will breed discontent and resentment between married couples to a point where something needs to be done to shake things up. And I am not talking about hanging from the chandeliers, joining a swingers club, naked bungee jumping, or partying like rock stars.

Here are some practical suggestions that require little or no money, but might just help to break up the routine and allow you to feel like a couple rather than just “roommates.” (By the way, Doug and I have done all of these things):

  • Make a list of activities that you used to participate in when you first met and plan some time to engage in those activities.
  • Try to initiate some form of physical contact – a hug, a kiss or a touch – when you walk by your spouse.
  • Always drop what you are doing and greet them when they walk in the door.  Be happy to see them.  Ask them about their day.
  • Have your meals together – and talk.  Don’t just grab your food and eat in front of the TV.
  • Plan a date night – in your home.  Go shopping for food and prepare a nice meal together.  Grab some wine or beer, watch a good movie and then have wild sex.
  • Avoid maintenance types of conversations or questions that only require a yes or no answer.  Set time aside weekly to deal with all the logistics of the week so you can have daily conversations about good stuff.
  • Plan a project around the house that you can complete together.  It will be a good bonding experience, and men seem to be more open and willing to communicate when they are actively doing something.
  • Plan family outings that are fun and relaxing.  Ours usually center around the outdoors – kayaking, hiking, camping, rock climbing and being beach bums, for example.
  • Send loving texts or notes to surprise your spouse during the day.
  • Plan a surprise date and don’t tell your spouse where you are going.
  • Take a class together.  Learn a new skill.
  • Spend a day exploring areas of the city (on foot if possible) that you live in that you aren’t real familiar with.
  • Have a picnic together.
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Being like “roommates” doesn’t have to be all that bad for a marriage.  Since Doug’s emotional affair, we have chosen to be more “exciting roommates” rather than boring and lifeless roommates. Obviously, every couples’ definition of exciting is different, but the key is to do what you both enjoy and are comfortable with – together.  So grab your spouse and a couple of drinks and put together your list of ways to shake things up a bit.

Please add your own suggestions so we can have a large list of ideas for readers to choose from.




    9 replies to "Easy Ways to Become ‘Exciting Roommates’"

    • mil

      Linda, I so take my hat off to you. Tomorrrow is D day no. 3 (same EA but 3rd time caught texting her). We had a HUGE argument last night as my emotions were running very high. I CAN NOT get over the fact they ‘promised’ each other sex in their sex texting. He maintains it was part of ‘the game’ and would never have happened but I now feel so inferior and inadequate to her perceived sex appeal. He says it’s time to ‘get rid’. This means get rid of me because I am ruining his life because I can’t let go of what he did. No I bl**dy well can’t, it’s crucifying me.

      • Doug

        SLIMEBALL??? Thanks Mil! Love you too! 😉

    • michael

      Its called acceptance.
      We all want it.

      Accepting what happened is not to say you turn a blind eye to it.
      MIL, how do I accept that my wife slept with another man?
      I either can and understand it or I can’t and end my marriage.
      You adapt and overcome.
      I’m sure many of us were not our spouses first time sleeping with, talking sexy to, or falling in love with.
      So how did you overcome that knowledge when you first dated them, married them.
      My wife wasn’t my first time with any of those. So how did she get past that.
      Because of the love we feel for them. Much in the way they thought they felt in the beginning of the affair.
      I know this is not my first experience with betrayal. And maybe it won’t be my last.
      But I can’t stop living my life. And I can’t keep punishing my wife.

      Expectations is another word.
      If I expect her to do things I only set myself up for disappointment. That’s not to say that all expectations are unreasonable. But some are.

      • Liz

        Very well said Micheal. And by the way, I hope you do not have to go through another betrayal. It’s been almost 6 months since i found out about my husbands EA with his x girlfriend from college. They reconnected on facebook :(. They never did get together, but they ignited old feelings from 24 years ago. Once i found out, via his phone , he ended it. Thank God. It took some time but we are in a MUCH better place and commited to making this marriage work. We got caught in a rut and stopped liking each other for a while, we love each other and want our marriage to work. Sorry for rambling on I just wanted to let you know how beauitful you put it all together in your post. Very well said.

    • Cindy

      Lol. I had to laugh when I read this post. I miss my b,each stained baggy sweats as well. Since my husbands EA, I have started wearing makeup daily, much nicer clothing, fixing my hair every day, wearing perfume just to clean the house (lol) and planning all kinds of fun activities lest my hubby be bored. It’s starting to wear me down. I must admit I miss watching my TiVo and flotching on the couch. Even my hubby admits that I’m trying to hard and I should just be myself but I’m so afraid.

      • Doug

        Cindy, I went so far as wearing a padded bra from the time I woke up to the time I went to bed, thinking Doug wouldn’t know I was only an A cup. boy was I silly or what? I shutter when I think of all the extra work I did just to look good everyday and I did the same things, I looked good even when I was cleaning the house. I have started to relax on some of these things, I have come to the point if he doesn’t love me the way I am then that’s ok and I am fine just the way I am. Linda

    • toosad

      How can I do this? I’m dead inside. I don’t trust him and I’m not sure I want him anymore. But I’m not going to destroy the kids’ lives, and so I go on. His EA went on for years and it’s 8 months from Dday. I know he’s not in touch with her anymore, but he won’t talk about it and i feel like he’s protecting her when he never bothered to protect me. I don’t want to go on, but every day I get up and go through the motions.

    • ppl

      there is no good place to post this because its a topic that i dont see covered in here. of course everyone wants to save their marriage. you are all very motivated to save it but at some point it comes time to let go. as someone who reached that point, i would love to know what are the signs that you are there? when does it become counter productive. for my own circumstances another EM by wife who refuses to see it as EM. in councelling i confronted her about it but did not give out all the details i knew of. she admitted a single short call to old boyfriend but all innocent just updating how their lives were going. only couple email contacts. councellor knew it was bs and advised that EA can be overcome but need to admit to it. i now have gotten four versions of the truth as i let her know some details she didnt think i knew. every time i point out something i know she creates a new version. at least two months of contacts. changed her email password (so access to facebook safe), set up new secret email and contacted “old” boyfriend all in the same day. this is clearly not something she just fell into. conversations included details about me and our relationship. also discussed meeting for sex (supposedly by him only), only a few inappropriate conversations. two weeks after confrontation in councelling she again contacted him saying she wouldnt contact him for a while but she looked foward to hearing from him. DESPITE THIS SHE STILL DENIES it was an emotional affair. views this as only a setback and wants to go back into councelling. this all occured as she claims we were making progress. what really happened was that i let my guard down and only looked after strange behaviours. she is scared of life changes but she will either learn to stand on her own or find another fool. she has become suspicious of me which i find funny. she had complained to boyfriend how unfair it was that i would use their “behavior” as an excuse to contact old friends. getting off point. BUTwhen only nonsense is being spouted in councelling and two separate EAs withing 3 years, not admitting obvious EA (I didnt do anything wrong) AND still not coming clean, it is clearly a hopeless case. it is perhaps cruel of me but i do enjoy saying i love you but i am not in love with you and my favorite you dont own me. we all have the “benefit” of having seen the betrayal. second or third go arounds dont matter as much. she appears to fear what she views as my betrayal, although i have been open and upfront about everything including moving on.

    • SHannon L

      I find it all so difficult to do, especially with a 3 week old baby around.
      How to start rebuilding our marriage after his EA, when I have to juggle with the little one, amongst all other household chores?

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